Training is a hot topic these days. Those of you who are regular readers of my blog know that members of the Millennial Generation (Generation Y) prefer to work for companies that train their employees. As a matter of fact, many times, they will choose training as a benefit over cash bonuses.
But today’s organization is complex. We employ people from four different generations who all want their training delivered in the way that best meets their needs. The top question we get from many of the companies for whom we design training programs is, “How do I make the training have meaning for everyone?”
When Market Viewpoint is hired by one of our client organizations to come in and train on topics such as customer retention, customer service, and sales skills, I always ask about the generational mix of the attendees. We make certain that we include modules designed to reach those we are trying to teach.
Here are some examples:
- Members of the World War II Generation, or Traditionalists, are coming out of retirement to earn extra cash to supplement their retirement incomes. Keep your training approach focused for this group and don’t forget to allow time for them to share their expertise.
- Baby Boomers like printed material, but adapt well and quickly to interfacing with technology when called upon to do so. Allow time for storytelling and use this group for on-going mentoring.
- Generation X, or the latch key generation still values interaction when it comes to training but remember that this is a resourceful group so give them self-paced modules and be sure that your training approach is logical and practical.
- I like to think of the Millennials as multi-media learners so when I design for them I include on-line accessibility to training materials, provide game modules to help them connect to and remember the material that is being taught, and provide them with social access to peer groups to gather additional data and reactions to the training topics.
Taking a blended approach when designing your training programs will ensure you are reaching all those who are being employed to support your mission and goals.
What kinds of training tools do you have in place in your organization to reach the various generations working for you?
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